Thu, Jan 10, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Eslite plans accelerated growth in Asian Market

DEPARTMENT STORES:Eslite Spectrum Corporation is planning to diversify its brand and increase expansion in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong over this coming year

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Eslite Spectrum Corp (誠品生活), a subsidiary of the Eslite Group (誠品集團) that focuses on operating department stores, aims to accelerate its expansion in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong over the next five years, following a plan to debut its shares on the over-the-counter (OTC) GRETAI Securities Market by the end of this month.

The company — which operates 42 department stores and nine food and beverage outlets throughout Taiwan and Hong Kong — is also set to launch its first boutique hotel, with 104 rooms, in Taipei’s Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (松山文創園區) in the third quarter

“We hope to diversify our brand by building up a multi-format lifestyle department store chain with a non-copy strategy,” company president Mercy Wu (吳旻潔) told a media briefing.

Wu added that Eslite Spectrum would maintain its expansion pace in Taiwan by steadily launching two or three new department stores every year. The company will focus on China and Hong Kong as its main overseas expansion markets for the next five years, Wu said.

Eslite Spectrum launched its first overseas department store in Hong Kong last year, with the company set to open two or three stores in the downtown area over the next three years.

Meanwhile, the company is scheduled to open its first department store in China’s Suzhou City (蘇州) next year and maintain its pace of expansion by launching at least one store a year in the future.“We have our eye on markets in Shanghai and Beijing in particular, and have been starting to look for appropriate locations,” Wu said.

The company expected its capital expenditure to rise this year from last year, mainly driven by demand from its expansion plan. Last year, its capital expenditure amounted to more than NT$200 million (US$6.87 million), Wu said.

Other than China and Hong Kong, Wu added that the company would consider launching stores in Southeast Asia over the long-term.

Currently, the company is scheduled to list on the OTC Securities Market on Jan. 30, with its initial offering price tentatively set at NT$160 per share. Its shares closed flat at NT$199 yesterday on the Emerging Stock Market (興櫃市場).

The company plans to issue 4.13 million new shares for the IPO, according to the company's filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

For the first nine months of last year, Eslite Spectrum posted NT$240 million, or NT$5.86 per share, in net profit, up about 25 percent from a year earlier, when it recorded a net income of NT$191 million, or NT$4.66 per share, company's data showed.

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